ESB Awards

ESB Awards 2020
The society not only promotes career development through e.g. our mobility awards but the ESB also recognises the outstanding work performed by our members through multiple awards.

Best Doctoral Thesis in Biomechanics
The Best Doctoral Thesis award recognises the substantial body of excellent work completed by our early career researchers. Even though the eligibility criteria have recently been tightened (candidates must be an ESB member in good standing for at least 6 months at the time of submission of their application), 10 applications could be considered.

The winner of the 2020 Best Doctoral Thesis in Biomechanics Award is:
Alberto Sensini (University of Bologna, Italy)
“Electrospun biomaterials and structures for the regeneration of tendons and ligaments: development and biomechanical validation”
Supervisors: Luca Cristofolini, Andrea Zucchelli, Maria Letizia Focarete

Runners up are:
Antoine Falisse (KU Leuven, Belgium) “A framework for personalized modeling and predictive simulation to study gait in children with cerebral palsy”
Mirko Bonfati (University College London, UK) “Personalised haemodynamic simulation of aortic dissection: Towards clinical translation”

ESB Student Award
Clearly a lot of exciting work is performed on the journey towards a postgraduate degree, and in 2020 we received an amazing 62 applications just for the Student Award. A team of 10 valued members of the respective Award Committee scrutinised the applications and identified 4 finalists. These final four candidates presented and discussed their work in a lively debate, all on-line, and a winner finally emerged.

The winner of the 2020 ESB Student Award is:
Jorge Barrasa-Fano (KU Leuven, Belgium) “Novel and accessible 3D Traction Force Microscopy applied to an in vitro vascular disease model”

Runners up are:
Pouyan Asgharzadeh (University of Stuttgart, Germany) “Deep learning analysis of bone structure in osteogenesis imperfecta using HR-PQCT images”
Sophie Kate Rapagna (Flinders University, Australia) “Cartilage thickness is correlated with in vivo knee joint loading indices in osteoarthritic tibia”
Ehsan Soodmand (Charité – Berlin, Germany) “Mechanically driven cellular self-organization as a mechanism driving large bone defect healing”

Clinical Biomechanics Award
Understanding biomechanics is key for solving many clinical problems and the Clinical Biomechanics Award is specifically designed to foster the application of biomechanics to clinically oriented problems. The 2020 online session of the 4 finalists in that category showed excellent examples of clinically focussed work in a variety of applications – but there could be only one winner.

The winner of the Clinical Biomechanics Award is:
Hans Kainz (University of Vienna, Austria & KU Leuven, Belgium) “Botulinum toxin injections do not alter musculoskeletal loading and bone growth in children with cerebral palsy”

Further finalists were:
Ingmar Fleps (ETH Zurich, Switzerland) “FEM-derived femoral strength is a better predictor of hip fracture risk than BMD in the Ages RS cohort”
Luigi La Barbera (Polytechnique Montréal, Canada) “In silico patient-specific optimization of correction strategies for thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis”
Marzieh Ovesy (University of Bern, Switzerland) “Explicit finite element simulation of uncemented total hip arthroplasty: implant insertion and loading”

Congratulations to all winners!!!

Call for nominations: The Huiskes Medal for Biomechanics 2021

We call for nominations for the most prestigious award of the ESB, given to senior researchers who have contributed significantly to biomechanics throughout their careers, nominated by at least two ESB members.
Deadline for receipt of nominations is the 1st of December, 2020.

Further information is available at: For enquiries and submission of nominations please contact the chair of the Awards Committee: Prof Markus Heller at:

Markus Heller, Vice President of the ESB and Chair of the Awards Committee